Community Leaders Discuss Foster’s Legislation to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse
Aurora, IL – Today in Aurora Congressman Bill Foster was joined by community leaders for a discussion on prescription drug abuse and legislation he has introduced to combat the growing problem in our communities. The discussion came in advance of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 27, 2014. A list of National Take-Back collection sites can be found here.
Speakers included State Senator Linda Holmes, Mike Moran, Executive Director of Breaking Free, and Kathleen Burke, President of Strategic Prevention.
“Easy access to prescription drugs is leading too many people down the path of addiction and opening the door to abuse of other opioids like heroin. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from a friend or relative,” said Foster. “I introduced the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic and I will continue to fight for additional resources and programs because we simply cannot allow this epidemic to continue to devastate our community.”
“The most effective way to address a problem is to understand it, then to educate others about it. I am very grateful that Congressman Foster is a scientist, because he has a perspective on what goes on in the body when you have an addiction that is unique, and he understands the complexity of the way we need to approach it. The increase in deaths from prescription pain meds and other opioids is a call to action, but what kind of action? The most effective way is to understand the complexity and identify what the problem really is, and not just treat the symptoms of the problem…Congressman Foster’s approach addresses many of the side effects of the dangers of meds, but I also encourage you and your families and your communities to become much more educated about substance abuse, addiction and the impact that it has on an individual and their life, and their ability to turn their life around,” said Burke. “Heroin is killing our kids, prescription meds are killing our kids, let’s do something about it. And I thank Congressman Foster for doing something about it.”
“This is something that has been at the forefront that a lot of us have talked about, thought about and tried to decide how we need to go about helping,” said Holmes. “I am grateful that Congressman Foster is someone who does take such an active role working with the community, who wants to work with us at the state level, who wants to work with the community, and the community groups, and the organizations in order to make life better for everybody in our district.”
"At Breaking Free, we've seen firsthand the challenges that emerge with the misuse of opioids and know how important prevention, intervention and treatment services are in order to stem the tide of this problem. It takes a coordinated response to address this problem and we see this legislation as being an important next step in helping individuals, families and communities respond to this problem," said Moran.
Last week, Foster introduced the Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This legislation would help to deter prescription drug abuse and assist individuals in receiving treatment for addiction. More information is available here.